Jul. 22—It's a story of forgiveness and unity.
"And we need that now more than ever after this last year," said Jessica Ulery of Royal Center.
Not only is the tale of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" timely following the mandated separations due to the pandemic, but it also "is a message of hope and knowing that you're never totally alone," Ulery said, explaining the importance of Logansport Junior Civic Theater's latest production.
It was originally slated to run last summer, but COVID-19 halted everything.
So now, the cast of 62 will take the stage this weekend in a performance that Ulery said should bring people together for a fantastic musical journey of the story in Genesis that depicts a man's path of healing, forgiveness and love.
Shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday as well as at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at McHale Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be $10 and sold through Thursday, July 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at McHale, or they may be purchased at the door starting one hour before the show.
The fact that this is the theater group's 60th anniversary makes the event even more special, said Ulery, who's serving as the assistant director for her first time. Dan McDonald is director.
Opening up the anniversary play to alumni, eight former members are returning to join the adult choir. Other groups include dancers, teen chorus and children's chorus.
Logansport High School's Finley Gay will take on the lead as Joseph. And despite the musical originally having one narrator, the Junior Civic Theater (JCT) board chose to break that single part into five female roles.
Simply put, Ulery said, there were too many talented girls. The only option was to create a role for each of them, with the narrators also tackling double duty by performing as wives to five of Joseph's 11 brothers.
"We wanted to allow as many people as possible to shine," Ulery said, exclaiming her joy with those who portray the brothers. The harmony that the group brings to life is "amazing. It's rare in theater to have this many boys with such strong, powerful voices."
"People will just be amazed when they hear them."
According to Ulery, the sheer talent of the children will blow people away. While JCT finds a role for each child — kindergarten through 12th grade — who auditions for a part, it has always been a place where children are encouraged to share their talent. They have the freedom to expand and grow in vocal range and stage presence.
"We're really about providing a place where confidence, inclusiveness, and self-esteem can be built," she said.
And performers come from all over Cass and surrounding counties. It's not just Logansport children up on the stage, she said, pointing out that the two graduating seniors in the cast are John Ulery and Amelia Bault.
All of the actors and actresses have a passion for the arts, she said, and "they're all so very talented."
The story tells the life of Joseph, who was beloved by his father. Joseph's father gave him a coat of many colors, which further angered Joseph's brothers. The siblings sold their youngest brother into slavery, faked his death and convinced their father that Joseph had been devoured by a wild animal.
Joseph was imprisoned, but through miraculous events, he was eventually appointed ruler over Egypt.
As time progressed and circumstances forced Joseph and his family to meet up many years later, Joseph chose love, unity and family over hate and injustice.
And that's what makes this musical so poignant right now, said Ulery. "This is a timely message, and it is our hope that it will bless our community."
Cast members include the following: Joseph is portrayed by Finley Gay; Narrators are Gracie Kitchell, Layla Powell, Amelia Bault, Maggie Fincher and Lily Walthery; Jacob is played by Cameron Hunnicutt; the brothers are as follows: Reuben- John Ulery; Simeon- Christian Scott; Levi- Austin Brooke; Napthali- Ian Snoeberger; Isaachar- Payton Mucker; Asher- Jacob Patty; Dan- Luke Ulery; Zubulun- Sam Fultz; Gad- Alex Geisler; Benjamin- Jaden Chin Hong; and, Judah- Dillon Odom; Wives are played by Gretchen Prifogle, Sarah Pawlowski, Ella Ott, Madyson Bullock, Gracie Kitchell, Layla Powell, Amelia Bault, Maggie Fincher, Lily Walthery, Ava Martin, and Carissa Dawson.
Other cast members are as follows: Potiphar- Caleb Conrad; Mrs. Potiphar- Emily Cole; Pharaoh- Liam Gay; Butler- Ella Ott; and, Baker- Sarah Pawlowski.
Camels are portrayed by Caleb Conrad and Liam Gay.
Dancers are Emily Cole, Caleb Conrad, Jordan Smith, Leah Sylvester, Mykah Holcomb, Ashlyn Cox, Zoey Schmidt, Leah Brown, Ashira Gutierrez, Marissa Schoenradt, Molly Hunnicutt, Lillian Biggs and Erica Sylvester.
Teen chorus is Ashira Gutierrez, Marissa Schoenradt, Molly Hunnicutt, Lillian Biggs, Erica Sylvester, Markitta Bault, Cameron Hunnicutt, Cooper Prifogle, Jordan Smith, Ashlyn Cox, Zoey Schmidt, Jareth Lancaster, Jaxson Zimmerman, Eva Cook, Connor Davis, Mykah Holcomb, Leah Brown, Emily Cole, Caleb Conrad and Liam Gay.
Children's chorus is Leah Sylvester, Grayson Bault, Karissa Harris, Dana Gutierrez, Claire Fiscel, Adonai Forgey, Brylie Caudle, Kyrie Szarszewski, Kendall Smith, Gyllean Holcomb, Rebekah Duffy and Adam Hunnicutt.
Adult chorus is Brianna Ulery, Jessica Ulery, Risha Duffy, Anna Holcomb, Carrie Lantz, Lindsey Prifogle, Cassie Bault and Josh Bault.
Behind-the-scenes help includes the following: John Vales, of McHale; Chris Pearcy, stage manager; Michael Cavins, set designer; Matthew Snoeberger, assistant stage manager; Phyllis Handschu, costumes; and Sarah Fisher, choreographer.
Reach Kristi Hileman at email@example.com or 574-732-5150